S&SWM PR papers L1806


Hartlett [sic] | Ansd. Apr. 29/97 | H.G.

171 Stanhope Street | London | N.W. | April. 27. 97.

Dear Sir,

I have brought home with me, from Borneo a fine collection of Ethnological specimens and knowing that you are interested in these objects, I shall have much pleasure in showing them to you, or sending a list of them.

Yours faithfully
Edward Bartlett

Lt. Gen. Fox-Pitt-Rivers



Bartlett | Ansd May 6/97

171 Stanhope Street | London | N.W. | April 30. 97.

To General Pitt-Rivers

Dear Sir,

I am sending you a rough list of my collection of Ethnological things from Borneo with prices to them, at the same time I may mention that I am anxious to dispose of the whole in one lot, unless you or the British Museum can take sufficient out of them to make it worth my while to break up the collection.

I have not had time to draw up a detailed list, but hope this will enable you to judge what they are; at the same time please return it to me because I have not copied it all out yet.

I have written to Mr Balfour at Oxford asking him to come and see the collection with a view to purchasing the same.

Please put an X to all those things which you would like to have.

An early reply will greatly oblige

Yours faithfully
Edward Bartlett

P.S. No doubt you will remember my name as late Curator of the Maidstone Museum before Mr James took it. *

*Frederick James, one of Pitt-Rivers' assistants. There are letters from James to Pitt-Rivers in the S&SWM PR papers.



Bartlett | Ansd May 12/ 97 | List returned

171 Stanhope Street | London | N.W. | May 7. 97.

To General Pitt-Rivers


I have received your tracing of a supposed Dyak shield, allow me to say it is not Dyak but a Kyan shield it is well known that the Dyaks have plain shields in fact they dont understand the art of the decorating one.

With regard to the shields in my list no 1-5 are ornamented like the tracing you sent, but of different designs, each shield having its own ornamentation on the front & back

The rest of the shields are plain, except three which are painted in colours on the front only, with distinct designs but not Kyan patterns, these are Nos 6 a Kyan shield painted by a Dyak 11a is a Kyan shield painted by a Dyak 12 is a Dyak shield and ornamented by a Dyak.

I send tracing of Nos 88, 135, 139.

Please allow me to mention that I shall be leaving soon and wish to know what portion you wish to receive or whether the whole, therefore, an early answer will greatly oblige.

Kindly let me have list again

Wish you had sent some one to look at the things.

I am
yours faithfully
Edward Bartlett

PS the tracings are full size



Bartlett | Ansd May 29/97

171 Stanhope Street | London | N.W. | May 28. 97.

To General Pitt-Rivers

Dear Sir,

Rethinking Pitt-Rivers project postcard

I shall be glad to know whether you have decided to retain all the Borneo things sent on approval, if so, I shall feel much obliged by a cheque for the same.

I am
yours faithfully
Edward Bartlett



Bartlett | Ansd June 1/97

171 Stanhope Street | London | N.W. | May 31. 97.

Dear Sir,

I'm sorry now that you consider the prices high, and that the things have been sent, because every day is a loss to me in the sale of them.

I reduced the prices of the lot in the first box from £172-10-0 to £150 for the lot; after all my trouble in collecting and bringing these things home, it is not worth the travelling expenses.

I shall now leave the price of the first lot entirely in your hands, sned me a cheque for the mot you can aford [sic] for the lot.

Yours very truly
Edward Bartlett

General Pitt Rivers

P.S. Kindly remember you have the first offer of these things

Pitt-Rivers is only known to have bought one thing from Bartlett according to the catalogue of the second collection, a wood figure for £2, see Add.9455vol5_p1619 /2. However L1839 appears to contradict this. Balfour also seems to have obtained items from the Bartlett collection for the Pitt Rivers Museum at Oxford, both directly and via Stevens Auction Rooms in 1900. The ones purchased directly from Bartlett were not obtained until 1899 but are all from Borneo (they total around 80 objects). There are also 6 items from Bartlett in the British Museum.

Back of Rethinking Pitt-Rivers project postcard

Ironically the Rethinking Pitt-Rivers project team chose the object that Bartlett is concerned about in his letter as its postcard image. See illustration and caption here.

Transcribed for Rethinking Pitt-Rivers project by AP June 2011

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